Choosing the Best Workout Shoes is crucial to enhance performance and prevent injuries. The difference between training shoes and running shoes lies in their design to support various movements. With the right footwear, you can maximize your workouts and safeguard your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back.


Best Workout Shoes: Training Vs. Running Shoes

Training shoes are designed for versatility, catering to movements like lateral plyometrics and weightlifting. They feature a flat, stable sole with a minimal heel-toe drop. Running shoes, conversely, are crafted for linear movement, providing essential shock absorption and a lightweight build for runners.

So often I see new clients walk into the gym wearing the wrong type of shoe. Training shoes and running shoes support different types of movement, so knowing the distinction is essential for maximizing workouts and preventing injury to your feet, ankles, knees, hips and back. (PMID: 16145332) As the main interface between an athlete’s foot and the ground, the shoe potentially plays an important role in managing repetitive external mechanical loads applied to the musculoskeletal system and, thus, in injury prevention. (PMID: 33064799) As your personal trainer, I also advise bringing both your training shoes and running/cardio shoes every time you come to the gym so you’re always ready.


Best Workout Shoes for Training

When searching for the Best Shoes for Your Workout, here’s what to consider in training shoes:

  • Comfort and fit: Make sure you can move your toes, your heel doesn’t slip and your foot doesn’t stretch out the upper. Go for the pair with the best initial feel instead of relying on a break-in period.
  • Arch support: Choose shoes with enough cushioning to support your arch, reducing the chances of a sprain.
  • Stability: Wide, thick outsoles will keep your foot in place when you move side to side.
  • Firm heel support: This helps provide ankle stability during weightlifting.
  • Durable and supportive uppers: Look for materials that provide extra support and protection.

Best Workout Shoes for Training

CK’s Top Training Picks:

  • Nike Metcon – best gym shoe in my opinion that are built to last!
  • Reebok Nano – built to last and the medial side of the shoe is outfitted with Rope Pro+ technology for ultimate rope grip.


Best Shoes for Running

Due to the repeated impact of your feet hitting the ground, running shoes are designed to provide shock absorption and support forward movement while remaining lightweight so you can fly across the road or track. They offer more midsole cushioning and arch support than training shoes, which can help protect against overuse injuries, such as stress fractures. Foot assessment, foot pain management, and proper footwear play important roles in fall prevention. PMID: 19052445

What to look for in running shoes:

  • Comfort and fit: Make sure to try on your running shoes toward the end of the day in your typical socks. The toe box should be roomy enough for you to wiggle and stretch, and the heel collar shouldn’t rub or slip on your heel. They should feel just right from the get-go; don’t rely on a break-in period.
  • Cushioning and responsiveness:Aim for a shoe with plenty of midsole cushioning, especially if you’re running long distances.
  • A lightweight feel: You don’t want your running shoes to slow you down, so choose a pair with a lightweight construction.
  • The right heel-toe drop: If you tend to strike aggressively on your heel, then you will want to look for a heel-toe drop of 10mm or more. Conversely, if you strike more with your mid or forefoot, or if you have chronic knee problems, opt for a lower heel-toe drop.

Best Workout Shoes for Running

CK’s Top Running Picks:

  • Brooks (Ghost or Adrenaline GTS) – both offer great stability, comfort, but mostly, these shoes are built to last!
  • Asics – great stability comfort and durability
  • Saucony – good comfort and stability
  • Hoka – although lacking stability compared to the others, this shoe offers great cushion support, making it comfortable and my suggested shoe for clients who are more than 40 pounds overweight.

Where to shop for running shoes?

As a San Diego small business owner, myself, I love supporting local. Milestone Running is a running shoe store run by runners. They are service-oriented and everyone who works there is extremely knowledgeable…because they are all runners themselves. They have two locations in North Park and Pacific Beach; and offer some pretty cool running events, creating an awesome sense of community. If you’re not sure which shoe to go with, head to Milestone Running and let them provide you with their comprehensive fitting to find the Best Workout Shoes for you.